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Poster: William Tell Date: Aug 21, 2010 6:41am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Best Live Bands...pick a three yr period and explain

I think YOU all know where I'll end up, but LiA's question prompted some deep reflection on the topic, and I'd love to hear from you youngsters about the past 30 yrs esp.

Here's my take: he's right, of course, that it is difficult to argue band X is THE best, but we might at least nominate one that for one yr, within some five yr span of similar musical happenings, most would agree deserve consideration.

Now, we all KNOW that the DEAD are the band for this category for all of us, esp given their longevity. However, we also recognize they might not win our nomination when put to a vote with the general public. And I am aiming for that wider acceptance.

Now, to get to my 68 +/- time frame, when I was eagerly listening to all the older folks immersed in the SF scene, and filtering the Brit Invasion, etc., it was quite clear that some bands with dramatic impact, were at the same time, not noted as "live bands" (esp noteworthy were the Beatles, Byrds [they were very influential in CA], CCR, even the Doors [folks loved them but felt the live shows were erratic, inconsistent, etc]). Even the Stones, in the early days, were much better known, again at least in NoCal, for churning out radio hit after hit, and didn't have the "live is required" aspect til into the 70s.

In fact, going thru the listing, I would say that really, only three strong contenders stand at that time, 68: Jimi, the Who, and of course...drum roll please...CREAM.

The Who did in fact impress the Bay Area crowd mightily in 67 at Monterey, but they didn't seem to have the same overall impact indicative of deeper creativity til later (following Who's Next and such), and of the three, have/had more detractors, I would venture to guess in any event.

Jimi was a unique experience, and certainly one to gain respect and consideration on sheer talent. But, I would say no one impressed the overall population, again, in No Cal at least, as CREAM did following the tours, esp spring and fall, 68.

During that year, everyone really did consider them THE supergroup, and that live was as good as it got (though albums were appreciated as well). Recall the comments passing between Mr Hart and JG while watching/listening oft quoted here ("...fuckin best group in the world!..." etc., though JG insisted on qualifying it "...tonight they are...").

Anyway, all that drivel to get to my nomination as CREAM being worth consideration for 1968.

What I am curious about is the next 40 yrs. I would imagine many would nominate LedZ, Who and PinkF for the early 70s, or Phish for 90s, but would love to hear the arguments, comments, etc.

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Poster: zeroenvy Date: Aug 21, 2010 4:59pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best Live Bands...pick a three yr period and explain

Didnt see them mentioned.. not saying they were the best by far.. But Pearl Jam 91-93 put on some amazing high energy shows if you like there music.

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Aug 21, 2010 5:35pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best Live Bands...pick a three yr period and explain

That was definitely one of the bands that came to mind for me. They still put on a great live show ... loved those mirror ball shows with neil.

stop making sense era t-heads and prior w/ belew as well as that crimson era belew (discipline thru 3 of a perfect pair) in early to mid 80s were great

the clash still remains one of the best live acts i ever saw

i would imagine miles w/ trane and cannonball adderly was pretty damn good on most nights...

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Poster: William Tell Date: Aug 22, 2010 8:42am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best Live Bands...pick a three yr period and explain

Yep, I was thinking that someone would nominate THeads for late 70s and early 80s; they certainly get my vote. If we view LedZ/PinkF/Rush as early, mid 70s (er, Rush later, early 80s? sorry, dunno), THeads and perhaps the Police (?) would be possibilities for the late 70s early 80s? Though I think of the Police as radio hit after radio hit, many at the time raved about them live, and I've seen a couple of docu music flicks bout them that suggest they might have been darn good live.

I detest Sting's post Police efforts, but I don't know if many will agree, but I often considered him a top five bass player...my overly narrow and simplistic list at one time was JB, Phil, JackC, PaulMac, and Sting, though I know that's not going to make many people happy given all the greats with perhaps less pop bands I am leaving out, or even just the fact that I left out JEntw of the Who, and so on...

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Poster: Capt. Cook Date: Aug 22, 2010 12:01pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best Live Bands...pick a three yr period and explain

Might not be too shy to admit I actually did a Dire Straits Mini-Tour one year and I must say that while they played basically the same set night after night the boys sure could fill an arena with sound and Mark Knopler's guitar technique is second to none. The man could and still can stand on any stage with any guitarist and hold his own. His solos are well crafted, Claptonesque, and ring with the clarity of genius.

And yea, Talking Heads - people round here still talk about the legendary show they put on at Forest Hills - really put Adrian Belew on the map, setting the stage for King Crimson's 1980's and oh, jesus did I mention a show I saw in Central Park 1983/84 when Bill Bruford reconfirmed his mastery at all things percussive and Robert Fripp held court like a chinese monk at his electronic alter, Belew a man possessed by his own guitar...

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Poster: William Tell Date: Aug 22, 2010 12:13pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best Live Bands...pick a three yr period and explain

Love Dire Straits myself as well, at least the late 70s stuff...and, now, to "Kevin Bacon" our discussion, didn't Sting used to do harmonies on that tune of theirs, whichever it is, about "I want my MTV?", live at least a time or two? "Money for nothing"? Was that it?

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Poster: Capt. Cook Date: Aug 22, 2010 1:04pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best Live Bands...pick a three yr period and explain

Ay, the tragic end of Sting as a reputable artist - I want My MTV!! No. I share your apprehension toward his solo work, although he always puts the finest bands together - almost too fine, I happened upon his christmas special last December on PBS and baby jesus didn't he have the finest looking collection of female violin, harp and flute players youd ever want to droll over. A 45- piece band to perform Silent Night and Oh, Little Town of Bethlem. Incredible stuff, but over the top of the top, in fact Sting is right this moment I am sure rehearsing a 79 piece orchestra to perform Every Breathe You Take on a massive floating boom in the middle of the Gulf, all proceeds of course to save the baby turtles he loves so well...

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Poster: William Tell Date: Aug 22, 2010 1:34pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best Live Bands...pick a three yr period and explain

Ha! To really bring this thread down to the lowest possible level, I'll never forget hearing an interview of him about how "zen" he was, all flowers and light, calm, cool and psychic levelheadedness and what not...and what evidence did he provide as to just how well adjusted he was? That could maintain an erection during sex for up to nine hours. Was he serious? It seemed so at the time, though all the ladies--well, the one or two!--that have spoken to me about it said "how on earth is THAT a good thing?" while I keep thinking "I thought you're supposed to call 911 if it lasts four hrs?!" Of course, what do I know about such things--I am happy if my partner is aware the act is underway prior to crossing the finish line...

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Aug 22, 2010 5:43pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best Live Bands...pick a three yr period and explain

"I am happy if my partner is aware the act is underway prior to crossing the finish line... "

That gave me one of the finest deep belly laughs I've had in awhile. Thanks.

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Poster: cosmic charlie dupree Date: Aug 22, 2010 5:24pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best Live Bands...pick a three yr period and explain

Well done, WT - I'm not referring specifically about crossing the finish line part (as that is, well, normal?),but rather to your style of self-deprecating humor. Always brings a smile to my face, and that's half the reason I come 'round this place anyway. Glad you didn't bow out for good after Australia!

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Poster: Hal R Date: Aug 21, 2010 7:31pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best Live Bands...pick a three yr period and explain

Funny, the ones you mention and Pearl Jam were the ones I thought of while out running errands. Belew plays pretty big on the best shows list here in 3 different bands. Speaking of King Crimson, The Great Deceiver box set from 73-74 is quite excellent.

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Poster: billydlions Date: Aug 21, 2010 7:21am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best Live Bands...pick a three yr period and explain

Led Zep has to be one of the best of the 70's (72-75 to be exact). Page was the metal version of Jerry- sometimes a little sloppy, but always inspired and one of the few who really improvised and didnt repeat the same solos every time.

Rush didnt really improvise but I'm always amazed at how 3 people could sound so good (kinda like Cream, right WT?). I think Rush was one of the best for a few years in the late 70's/early 80's. After Moving Pictures they were too influenced by the new wave movement of the Police, U2, etc.

It's hard to pick anyone else as I spent all of my money and time on the GD! Jethro Tull?? Ozzy (or Black Sabbath)- for you metal fans (me included)

Edit: OK, I see I didnt respond to your question about a 3 year period but I think you could say around 1974-1976 there was overlap with Led Zep, who still had some really good shows (the Physical Graffiti new tunes) and Rush who were the new kids from Canada-although their best was yet to come. I guess I'll have to give more thought to your question.


This post was modified by billydlions on 2010-08-21 14:21:38

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Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: Aug 21, 2010 1:32pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best Live Bands...pick a three yr period and explain

definitely will second Rush. Have you seen that new documentary out? If not it's a must see. Focus is primarily on the older stuff which is the stuff I like. Didn't care for them at all after signals when they let the keyboard become the dominant instrument. Also what else it cool is they are FINALLY getting respect. There are a bunch of interviews from current musicians from today's crew of hard rock - Kirk Hammet, Billy Corgan, Les Claypool, Pantera, Rage Against the Machine, and a bunch I'm forgetting that were heavily influenced by them and heap praise.

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Poster: billydlions Date: Aug 21, 2010 7:56pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best Live Bands...pick a three yr period and explain

Thanks for that Zep link Jots. You never know what to believe anymore with live releases.

I did see that Rush bio. I never knew that Rush toured with KISS in the early days and became good friends. Lots of other good info on the band as well.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Aug 21, 2010 9:12am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best Live Bands...pick a three yr period and explain

Hey BDL--I think you are spot on with LedZ, though I didn't care for them at the time. I was as usual, in love with their first album, and rejected everything past the third out of sheer spite to go against the huge following they had developed (BTW, in HS, early 70s, THEY were the band we fought in the "arguments" I've alluded to--ie, we few DEAD defenders generally had to argue how our band was better than LedZ, live).

And from all I've learned here, and from my sons, I think the Rush nomination floats as well, though I again, didn't care for them at the time, and didn't hear as much about the "live!!!" aspect til the past couple yrs.

In a way, what I was getting to was whether the "must see live to appreciate" label is passe? No longer relevant? Just not as common? Dunno...

Thx.

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Poster: billydlions Date: Aug 21, 2010 10:19am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best Live Bands...pick a three yr period and explain

Perhaps Zep became too popular or "commercial". I think back to a Pink Floyd discussion here a year or so ago where the merits of Dark Side were discussed and the difference between overrated vs overplayed. I feel the same way about LZ4. I really cant listen to any songs from that album, largely because the radio has ruined it. Same with some other songs from Houses of the Holy. On the other hand, I think the Song Remans the Same is brilliant. I dont know what kind of editing was done (can anyone chime in on this?) but seeing Page playing is really a treat, especially the title song and Rain Song. He was way ahead of his time with some of the things he was doing (especially studio work). I really enjoy the later work- the less commercial stuff- Graffiti and Presence. Anyway, during the time period of Song Remains the Same, I think they were one of the best live acts. Other than seeing Jerry, they would be one of my first choices to see live.

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Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: Aug 21, 2010 1:10pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best Live Bands...pick a three yr period and explain

" On the other hand, I think the Song Remains the Same is brilliant. I dont know what kind of editing was done (can anyone chime in on this?) "

yeah I can. Picked up the "Garden Tapes" awhile back and there's a link talking about which parts of the album are from which show. I don't think but maybe one song is complete. Absolutely insane how much editing was done to a single track. See for yourself.I've always known it was heavily edited, the band did NOT sound that precise and clean by that point ,but it's still an amazing masterpeice from start to finish.

http://www.thegardentapes.co.uk/tgt.html

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Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: Aug 21, 2010 2:05pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best Live Bands...pick a three yr period and explain

hey Tell, in case you don't already have all of these

http://zombtracker.the-zomb.com/browse-b.php?search=Cream&;incldead=1

none of them have very many seeders but it is ration free time

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Poster: user unknown Date: Aug 21, 2010 3:27pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best Live Bands...pick a three yr period and explain

So we gotta narrow it down to a three year period. I think I'll suggest 2006, 7 & 8. I know I'll have a lot of people disagree with me, but what else is new?

Railroad Earth
http://www.archive.org/details/RailroadEarth

The Infamous Stringdusters
http://www.archive.org/details/InfamousStringdusters

The Waybacks
http://www.archive.org/details/TheWaybacks

Hot Buttered Rum String Band
http://www.archive.org/details/HotButteredRum

Carolina Chocolate Drops
http://www.archive.org/details/CarolinaChocolateDrops

Maybe not the "best", one helluva lotta fun live.
All the above are tighter than the bark on a tree. Their musicianship is impeccable. And I don't think anyone playing in that time period put on on any better show.




This post was modified by user unknown on 2010-08-21 22:27:49

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Poster: BornEasement Date: Aug 21, 2010 7:41pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best Live Bands...pick a three yr period and explain

add Ryan Adams to that

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Poster: user unknown Date: Aug 21, 2010 8:00pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best Live Bands...pick a three yr period and explain

"add Ryan Adams to that"

Whiskeytown, ...& The Cardinals or solo

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Poster: snori Date: Aug 21, 2010 11:21am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best Live Bands...pick a three yr period and explain

At last a chance to rave about a man who brought me almost as much joy as GD, an artist I would see live as many times as possible throughout his career, and who I miss deeply. I have to steal an extra year WT as his most creative spell was from 1972 to 1976, and actually I'm trimming a year off each end anyway.

The late, great John Martyn, solo with his acoustic guitar and a box of tricks that sent notes spinning around the room, with accompanying musicians like Danny Thompson (Pentangle and others), or with his own band, improvised wonderfully on stage, even in the way he sang.

Albums from Solid Air (1973) to One World (1977) still hold up well today, but as with our own GD there was an extra dimension whenever he played them on stage.

There's quite a lot of material available, including live albums, so have a listen, I don't think you'll be disappointed. To be going on with http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kg_Utj4Aljc

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Poster: mickmac Date: Aug 21, 2010 11:52am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best Live Bands...pick a three yr period and explain

The band for me is Clutch from 2007 to present. Very good live shows and to see their growth with what I call Americana Pure Rock Fury is a wonder.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Aug 21, 2010 12:10pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best Live Bands...pick a three yr period and explain

Hmmm, another fine example of how little I know about the present day music scene! Thanks for the mention; will check with the kids to see about sampling...

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Poster: yesss! Date: Aug 22, 2010 6:48pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best Live Bands...pick a three yr period and explain

john coltrane 62-65

james brown 66-69

miles davis 67-70

grateful dead 71-74

bob marley 73-76

there a lots of other great bands that killed it live, but they usually had ups and downs, personnel changes, etc... these bands were all hitting hard consistently for years.


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Poster: William Tell Date: Aug 23, 2010 5:44am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best Live Bands...pick a three yr period and explain

Good selections...wouldn't have thought of them (some).

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Poster: Daddy D Date: Aug 23, 2010 3:23pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best Live Bands...pick a three yr period and explain

I wasn't even born before he died so obv. never saw him play, but from what I've been told & read, everyone who saw him play was in awe of the energy & performance put on by Otis Redding.

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Poster: barongsong Date: Aug 21, 2010 9:34am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best Live Bands...pick a three yr period and explain

Hi WT I'll bite on this one since being born in the 60's I'll have a different perspective while still being completely jealous of seeing all the the 60's and 70's greats in there prime. Still there were a few that I'll put forth that I think could hold there own to those heady times.
1st. Stevie Ray Vaughn- like the Dead, his albums don't compare to the experience {even the live ones}. Still haven't seen anyone who compares in shear guitar energy output. You really had to be there.
2nd. Blues Traveler- Late 80's early 90's they were amazing. Their early live stuff was just pure rock n roll energy unleashed but I think it was 92-93 when they toured with the AB band and they turned into a full blown psychedelic monster that impressed me most.
3rd. There were a lot of bands that could go here on any great night, but I guess in the perspective of consistency Carlos Santana had an amazing revival during this time and blew my mind every time I saw him so until I think of another that's it.
Actually the SRV stuff that I'm recalling is a quite bit before this period but these are my Non Dead picks from 90-92.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Aug 21, 2010 11:04am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best Live Bands...pick a three yr period and explain

Oh yeah--was going to mention BTrv with Phish but forgot to! No exp firsthand though...And defn agree, again, secondhand, with SRV!! While in TX for two yrs in the 80s, everyone there was talking about him...

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Poster: ChefChappy Date: Aug 21, 2010 12:40pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best Live Bands...pick a three yr period and explain

I've never been the biggest of fans, but I don't think a 3 yr period can go without the mention of Fleetwood Mac in the mid to late 70's. And how bout the exteded run for Springsteen and the E-street band...I don't think there is any denying the power of their lives shows whether you are a fan or not, they do try bring it every night.

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Poster: Capt. Cook Date: Aug 21, 2010 2:36pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best Live Bands...pick a three yr period and explain

1976/1977/1978 (Waiting For Columbus years) LITTLE FEAT

The Little Feat Original line-up boasted a top-flight live show, with excellent percussion and piano and some flat out smoking grooves. This band could jam and stop on a dime - Dixie Chicken is fun and if you want to really dance try a little Spanish Moon with your sweetheart tonight... Lowell George was The Man!!!

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Aug 21, 2010 2:53pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best Live Bands...pick a three yr period and explain

You can own the original artwork for the cover of Waiting for Colubmus ... (owned by the sound engineer and good friend of the band; his idea to record them in the stairwell before hitting the stage)
http://www.thealternativecafe.com/show_euterpe.php

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Poster: Capt. Cook Date: Aug 21, 2010 3:19pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best Live Bands...pick a three yr period and explain

"Willin'"

I been warped by the rain, driven by the snow
I'm drunk and dirty don't ya know, and I'm still, willin'
Out on the road late at night,
Seen my pretty Alice in every head light
Alice, Dallas Alice

I've been from Tucson to Tucumcari
Tehachapi to Tonapah
Driven every kind of rig that's ever been made
Driven the back roads so I wouldn't get weighed
And if you give me: weed, whites, and wine
and you show me a sign
I'll be willin', to be movin'

I've been kicked by the wind, robbed by the sleet
Had my head stoved in, but I'm still on my feet and I'm still... willin'
Now I smuggled some smokes and folks from Mexico
baked by the sun, every time I go to Mexico, and I'm still

And I been from Tuscon to Tucumcari
Tehachapi to Tonapah
Driven every kind of rig that's ever been made
Driven the back roads so I wouldn't get weighed
And if you give me: weed, whites, and wine
and you show me a sign
I'll be willin', to be movin"

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Poster: William Tell Date: Aug 22, 2010 6:26am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best Live Bands...pick a three yr period and explain

Great song...I've been to each of the towns mentioned many times since 1970 when I first started roaming the SW. I have to admit, I first heard Linda Ronst. do it though...if you like her, she did it well...

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Aug 21, 2010 3:46pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best Live Bands...pick a three yr period and explain

One my all time faves; from wiki:

There are three legends about the genesis of Little Feat. One has it that George showed Zappa his song "Willin'," and that Zappa fired him from the Mothers of Invention, because he felt that George was too talented to merely be a member of his band, and told him he ought to go away and form his own band. The second version has Zappa firing him for playing a 15 minute guitar solo—with his amplifier off. The third version says that Zappa fired him because "Willin'" contains drug references ("weed, whites and wine"). George often introduced the song as the reason he was asked to leave the band. On Oct. 18, 1975 at the Auditorium Theater in Rochester New York while introducing the song, George comments that he was asked to leave the band for "writing a song about dope".[1]

In any version, Zappa was instrumental in getting George and his new band a record contract. When "Willin'" was recorded for the Little Feat album, George hurt his hand in an accident with a model airplane, so Ry Cooder sat in and played the song's slide part. Lowell's accident is referenced on the cover art of the band's 1996 album Under the Radar. "Willin'" was re-recorded (this time with Lowell playing) on Little Feat's second album Sailin' Shoes, which was also the first Little Feat album to include cover art by Neon Park, who had painted the cover for Zappa's Weasels Ripped My Flesh.

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Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: Aug 21, 2010 9:25pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best Live Bands...pick a three yr period and explain

I read an interesting thing once - the ONLY person Zappa played with that he said he absolutely can not stand is Jean Luc Ponty

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Poster: unclejohn52 Date: Aug 21, 2010 9:06am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best Live Bands...pick a three yr period and explain

This thread can't go too long without mentioning the Allman Brothers, a good pick for the early 70's. Always a terrific live band, and one of the few that could match jamming talent with the GD. Although the lineup has changed, these guys can also match the Dead for longevity - a good friend saw them last year and thought they kicked ass.

Honorable mentions go to U2, Yes, David Bowie, Queen

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Poster: Hal R Date: Aug 21, 2010 3:38pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best Live Bands...pick a three yr period and explain

Well I really can't fit within your paramaters because the only band I can follow of what they did in what year is the Grateful Dead.

But will look at a few time periods here and mention great live Bands I have seen.

Allman Brothers while Duane was with them (I wish I had been there) and then when Warren Haynes joined them later on has been pretty fantastic.

Saw Zappa in 78 and it was an incredible show with Adrian Belew.

Miles Davis in his many forms. Saw him in the 80's with Mike Stern,stunning.

Stevie Ray Vaughan was incredible live, got to see him twice in the 80's. Also every time I have seen Buddy Guy has been a pure joy.

Probably not popular with many here but the great hardcore bands of the 80's; Minutemen and Husker Du were both bombastic. Sonic Youth!!!!!

Saw the Who in the 80's and the Stones then too. The Who were top notch and I thought their show just blew the Stones away.

Any show with Dave Alvin.

Emmylou Harris has had many great touring bands. Always sounds so good.

In the last 15 years for me Gov't Mule rules.

But there are so many really good live jam bands now. Most of them rarely have a sloppy show. moe., Umphrey's McGhee, String Cheese Incident, Yonder Mountain String Band, Derek Trucks Band, Widespread Panic. Phish has had some pretty stunning shows but to me they waver like the Dead. All of these current bands make many bands of prior years look like slobs who were more interested in getting high than putting on an outstanding show.

Also saw someone mention Infamous Stringdusters, excellent shows.

Two weeks ago I saw the Dan Tyminski Band (guitar player for Allison Kraus) and everyone's jaw was dropping.

From all I have heard, have to agree that Cream was one of the top ever and of course Saint Jimi.

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Poster: Hal R Date: Aug 21, 2010 4:44pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best Live Bands...pick a three yr period and explain

Just have to add Phil and Friends with Warren Haynes and Jimmy Herring.

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Poster: ducats Date: Aug 22, 2010 4:38am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best Live Bands...pick a three yr period and explain

for the music any incarnation with slowhand, for the party the parrot heads and for that perfect mix of both ofcourse the boys.